Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Importance of CSS in web development
CSS style sheets have made it easier to handle web pages during web development. CSS or Cascading Style Sheets as the name suggests is a style sheet that allows you to easily link to other documents in your website. It allows you to retain control over the various elements in different web pages of your website.
CSS only defines the structure and content presentation of a website it has nothing to do with the design of a website. A single CSS sheet can control the font, positioning, colour and style information of an entire website.
9 advantages of using CSS:
1. Web pages are easier to load and uses less bandwidth
CSS style sheets are preferred by web developers for website development because they are lighter than table layouts, which consumes lots of bandwidth. The style sheet is downloaded only once and stored in the cache memory, so subsequent pages load faster.
2. A CSS style sheet compliments well with HTML
HTML is insufficient when used independently in website development, but when combined with CSS they can result in technically stronger web pages.
3. CSS allows you to position your element anywhere in the webpage
Web developers love to use CSS because it allows them to position their element where ever they want in the web page. If during any phase of web development the developer feels that particular links or columns are not going well with the situation then it becomes easier for them to position them easily using CSS. CSS reduces the risks associated with maintenance of the website.
4. CSS is compatible with all web browsers
CSS is combined with HTML or XHTML by web developers for web application development because it is compatible with all web browsers. The sites that use CSS appear similar in all the web browsers.
5. CSS can be used to create print friendly web pages
Most of the web developers love to use CSS for building their HTML based web applications because they allow them to create print friendly web pages. These web pages can be easily printed. The colours, images and other things which are difficult to be printed can be eliminated and printed easily.
6. CSS style sheets allows the user to customize the webpage
Now days many websites allow the user to change the layout of the website without affecting the content. The CSS style sheets which are stored externally allow the user to make requisite changes by themselves. Most of the modern browsers give user the liberty to define their own style sheets like changing some font properties etc.
7. CSS style sheets makes it easier for your website to feature in search engines
The CSS style sheets are favoured by web developers because they allow them to position their elements as per their wish anywhere in web application. Positioning helps to project the main contents first, so that it is easily captured by web spiders. CSS also gives cleaner HTML codes thus cutting down the job of web spider to search the real content from junk code.
8. CSS allows the web pages to have absolute consistency
One of the reasons for using CSS during web development is that they allow consistency to all web pages. All the expressions and texts will get their characteristics from external style sheet. Web developers need not to worry about the change in characteristics of the elements because they can be easily altered at any stage of web development by using CSS.
9. CSS lends portability to content
By using CSS you can make separate style sheets for different media. This provides you the great flexibility in presenting your content. CSS allows you to redefine the characteristics of elements in a website to suit the need of the situation. For e.g.: A separate style sheet will allow you to redefine the characteristics of certain elements so that they are easier to be printed. Also the user will never come to know that you had restructured the characteristics for their benefit.
CSS is created to make the things easier for your website and also to give you control over different elements in your website. Utilising benefits of CSS will give you popular user friendly web pages.
About the Author: Sigma InfoTech is an Australian based Website Design firm, specialising in Website Development, Web Developer, Website design, Application Development Australia. Write editor to firstname.lastname@example.org your comments and suggestions will be highly appreciated.
Source: Entireweb Newsletter * April 15, 2008 * Issue #431
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